Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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Holiday Liqueurs – Eastside Distilling

Can you believe it is December already? This time of year tends to get very busy. There are holiday parties, family gatherings and traditions, holiday decorating, and much more. Making gifts on top of all of that can be challenging! I would love nothing more than having each of you make some of our holiday-inspired infusions this December. But… I know that isn’t going to be possible for everyone. So for those of you who would like some holiday cheer without all the effort, we recommend checking out your local distillery. They may have some fun holiday-infused spirits already beautifully bottled for your parties, gift giving or just enjoying the holiday spirit this season.

Holiday Liqueurs at Eastside Distillery

Holiday Liqueurs at Eastside Distillery

We recently went to Eastside Distillery in Portland, Oregon and were blown away by all of their holiday inspired liqueurs and other spirits that will be great for the holiday season. This great little craft distillery has concocted an Eggnog Liqueur, Peppermint Bark Liqueur and Holiday Spiced Liqueur. They are all wonderful and will be great for any occasion. Many of their standard spirits will also be perfect for the holidays, including the Coffee Rum, Cherry Bomb, Ginger Rum and Burnside Bourbon. We loved everything at Eastside. And we think you will too!

Burnside Bourbon

Eastside spirits are available in Oregon and Washington, and some of them (including the Holiday Spiced Liqueur, Cherry Bomb whiskey and Coffee Rum) are even available online through Vintage Wine & Spirits.

Eastside also has some great gift packs available at their tasting room. Be sure to check them out!

Eastside Gift Pack

Eastside Gift Pack

We are fortunate to have a number of amazing craft distilleries in Portland, and many of them have spirits that will be great to enjoy this holiday season. We are looking forward to checking out the Booze Bazaar (yes you read that correctly) at House Spirits next weekend. We have been to House Spirits before and they are amazing. Their Whitedog Whiskey is one of my favorites, and their Coffee Rum and Aquavit would be great for the holidays as well.

We recommend checking out your local craft distillery this holiday season for some amazing holiday cheer! Distilling.com has a map of craft distilleries throughout the United States (and even  few in Canada). Also from Distilling.com is a list of distilleries in the US, but the map seems to be a bit more comprehensive and/or updated.

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Craft Distilleries: Drink Local!

Holiday Fun Time! Home-Infused Liqueurs for the Holidays


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Pear & Cranberry Liqueur

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I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My husband and I were responsible for dessert this year, and one of my contributions was a pear, apple and cranberry crisp. I love those flavors and how they come together. It made me realize that I need to share a similar flavor that I have been infusing for the holidays. If you start now, this will be enjoyed before the holidays are over.

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Pear & Cranberry Liqueur

1 3/4 c. Sliced Pears (we used Bartlett, but really any would work well)
1/4 c. Dried cranberries
1/2 TB chopped, peeled ginger
1 whole clove
Small piece of a cinnamon stick (less than 1 gram)
3/4 c. Brandy
1 1/2 c. Vodka

Combine all ingredients into a quart jar, and allow to infuse for about 3 weeks or until it reaches your desired taste. (I think it will continue to add a bit more flavor, so I have not strained ours yet.)  Strain and filter through a jelly bag or cheesecloth, and then coffee filters.

The pear and cranberry flavors come out well in this liqueur. The combination of brandy and sweetened dried cranberries make this sweet enough to drink without being too sweet. I wanted a hint of spices, but did not want them to overwhelm the fruits, and this is achieved here. If you like lots of spice, you could add a bit more. Keep in mind that a bit of clove and cinnamon go a long way in infusions.

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Cheers!

Related Posts:

Cranberry-Orange Cordial

Holiday Fun Time ! – Holiday Infusions and Holiday Inspired Liqueurs


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Holiday Fun Time!

I love this time of year. Lots of parties, indulgent meals, and festive holiday cheer!

Whether you are hosting gatherings for family and friends, attending a party or planning on giving gifts to your loved ones or colleagues, holiday-inspired infusions abound.

Here at Boozed + Infused, we’ve got a lot of seasonal and holiday infusions going on, and we have also posted a number of them throughout the year. While we may have a few more to post in the coming weeks, now is the best time to get started so that you will have time to enjoy these throughout the holidays!

Depending on which holiday you are celebrating, you will want to check the infusion times for these. Keep in mind that dried fruits and spices tend to infuse quicker than fresh fruits, so if you want something in time for Thanksgiving, you could start with one of those. Also keep in mind that my infusion times are just a guide. While the flavor may not be as strong with a shorter infusion, they will still be very tasty. Don’t let the length of time stop you from making these!

A good place to start is with our Booze Infusion Index. If you haven’t check this out yet, this is a full listing of all of our infusion and liqueur recipes. This may help inspire you to make something that you will love or that would go well for your holiday bash.

Here are a few of our favorites that we think are great for fall, winter and the holiday season.

Irish Cream – this liqueur will please just about everyone. It is ready instantly. Yes, no waiting period. It would be great to go with your Thanksgiving dessert (or just about anything else).

Star Anise Gin – this infuses in just a few days.  Any licorice-lover will be in heaven!

Oatmeal & Brown Sugar Booze – you only need 7-10 days. Just try it…

Dried Cherry Bourbon – tastes really great at one week or less, maximum infusion time is two weeks. If you start now, this could be part of your Thanksgiving menu. (This is one of my all-time favorite infusions.)

Dried Currant Brandy – infusion time is about three weeks – make your own for Kir Royale!

Cranberry-Orange Cordial – this takes about three weeks. Start it now and be sure to use this in champagne cocktails (best I have ever had). You holiday party will be a sure success!

Apple Pie Bourbon – our most popular infusion. You won’t regret it.

Coffee Bourbon – takes three weeks or less. * This is a favorite of many of our readers! Will be great for gifts, holiday desserts and more.

Winter Spice Liqueur – infusion time is about three weeks. This is my take on a holiday fragrance we used to make when I was a kid.

Chocolate Brandy – infuse 4-5 weeks

Chocolate-Orange Liqueur – infuse about four weeks

Almond Liqueur – infuse about four weeks – home made amaretto!

Pear and Cranberry Liqueur – needs about 3 weeks

But don’t let this list stop you from making a different infusion. Wherever you find inspiration, your home-infused delights will make for some fun and festive holidays!

Cheers!


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Holiday Liqueur: Pimento Dram

I love this time of year. There are always so many fun things going on including parties, cocktails, and holiday cheer!

Earlier in the year I had read stories of people describing Pimento Dram (Allspice Liqueur) as “Christmas in a Glass”. So I knew that this would be perfect for the holidays. And if you start now, you can enjoy it for your holiday festivities.


I started this way back in May (I guess I wanted to get a jump-start on my holiday cheer) and it is amazing. So far, everyone who has tasted this agrees.

Pimento Dram starts with infusing allspice berries in high-proof rum. After straining the allspice, you add a brown sugar simple syrup and let it rest a while to allow the flavors to mellow. The final result is sweet, spiced, and very rich. It is also really lovely.

Our intent with this liqueur was really to use it as holiday gifts, but it tastes so good I’m sure we will keep a bit for ourselves and some festive cocktails. Our friends over at Putney Farm have some exceptional cocktail recipes that include an Allspice Dram, including a toddy called the Tammany Jack. I think a little of this would be excellent drizzled into about any hot toddy.

Pimento Dram (recipe adapted from The Cocktail Chronicles)

1 1/2 c. 151 proof Rum

1/3 c. Allspice Berries

1 lb. brown sugar

2 c. water

Lightly crush the allspice berries, and place them in a glass jar along with the rum. Let this infuse for about 10 days to 2 weeks. (We infused for 2 weeks.) Strain the mixture well.

In a saucepan, add the brown sugar and water and heat until dissolved to create a brown sugar syrup. Allow the brown sugar syrup to cool completely.

Add the brown sugar syrup to the rum, and allow the mixture to rest for another 2-4 weeks.

Now go enjoy your holiday cheer!

I also came across some wonderful recipes for Pimento Dram that included cinnamon stick and other spices, but I wanted to keep the flavor of allspice more pure.

We will soon be compiling some of our favorite recipes throughout the year that we feel will be great for holiday parties and gifts so get your infusing supplies ready!

Cheers!


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Chamomile Bourbon and a Special Manhattan

This is our 100th post! So we’ll celebrate tonight with a tasty cocktail…

Here is one that will infuse quickly and be sure to soothe… chamomile

Chamomile Bourbon

1/8 oz. (about 3 TB) dried Chamomile Flowers

1 c. bourbon

Infuse for about 5 days, then strain the flowers and filter through a coffee filter. If you can’t find dried chamomile flowers, simply substitute some chamomile tea.

As you may have noted, we have more than one infusion going with these flowers, and we will be sure to share the other with you soon.

In the meantime, you can enjoy some delicious cocktails with your infused bourbon…

Chamomile Manhattan

2 oz. Chamomile Bourbon

3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Dash of Angostura Bitters

Brandied Cherry (or other cocktail cherry)

Stir all ingredients except the Cherry over ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the Brandied Cherry.

The chamomile flavor is lovely, and not overwhelming. The bourbon is still the star, but has a wonderful lingering chamomile taste.

Be sure to try this!

Cheers!


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Plum Liqueur

I have always loved these plums…

Since there were hundreds of pounds of them hanging from the trees at my parents’ farm, I helped myself to a big box of them.

And as usual, the first plums made their way into an infusion for a lovely plum liqueur.

Plum Liqueur

2 c. fresh sliced plums (about 8 small to medium plums)

2 c. vodka

2 TB sugar

Place all ingredients in a quart jar, seal and allow to infuse for 4-6 weeks. Strain the plums out of the liquid, and filter if desired. I have not yet filtered mine, but the liqueur seems quite clear.

This liqueur is very light and delicate. If you can still get fresh plums in your area, be sure to try this!

Cheers!

Related Posts:

Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon

Boozy Prune Jam

Boozy Spiced Brandy Plums


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Halloween Infusion part 2: Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

What is your favorite candy? And have you ever made it into a cocktail?

A few days ago I posted a recipe for Caramel Apple Liqueur, which I made for a get-together with a theme of Halloween candy infusions and cocktails. This was all the brainchild of Evelyn over at Momsicle, who wrote a great post about our “drink up”, complete with a group photo!

I racked my brain for candy infusion ideas, and while it may not exactly be a popular Halloween candy, I have always loved the flavor of orange and chocolate. As a kid, I would get chocolate-orange truffles at the candy store and always loved those chocolate orange sticks (the orange jelly candies that were covered in chocolate). So it was settled, I would make Chocolate-Orange liqueur.

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Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

Zest of 3 large Oranges

1/4 c. Cacao Nibs

1/4 c. sugar

2 c. vodka

Place all above ingredients in a glass jar, and close tight. Shake well and allow to infuse for abut 4 weeks. Strain through a filter, then cheesecloth, jelly bag, and coffee filters. This infusion clogged the coffee filters frequently, so be prepared to change the filter often.

This liqueur is delicious! It lived up to my idea of what I wanted it to taste like. And now for the cocktail…

Chocolate-Orange Martini

2oz. Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

2oz. Creme de Cacao (light)

Orange twist

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice, and serve in a chilled martini glass with an orange twist. We also enjoyed them with a dark chocolate that was spiked with orange zest and orange oil. Delish!

You will also note that we served these in our “fun size” glasses so that we could taste each of the drink varieties at our gathering. They disappeared fast!

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Cheers!


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Halloween Infusion: Caramel Apple Liqueur

What are your Halloween plans this year? Perhaps a better question would be, what are your Halloween cocktail plans this year?

There are lots of great ideas and inspirations out there for Halloween drinks, and Evelyn from Momsicle suggested we get together for a pre-holiday Halloween-inspired infusion party. Poppy from Funny or Snot and Krista from Mostly Mommyhood were also on board for an early afternoon Happy Hour, and our group grew to five as our new friend Jodi from The Mama Gut joined the festivities.

We made most of the drinks “fun size” so that we could taste-test all of them. While I was never able to understand how a miniature candy bar could be “fun”, I was definitely on board with “fun size” cocktails!

Caramel apples were always a big treat around Halloween when I was growing up. So I set out to create a Caramel-Apple Liqueur, and based on the reactions at our fun-sized party (and how quickly these little shots disappeared) this is a keeper!

Apples in Vodka

Caramel-Apple Liqueur

2 Granny Smith Apples- cored & sliced

2 c. Vodka

1/2 c. Caramel Syrup (or to taste)

Core and slice the apples, and place in a glass jar. Pour vodka over the apples, making sure you have enough to cover. If needed you can add more vodka. Close the jar and place in a dark, cool location. Allow to infuse for 3-4 weeks.

Strain and filter through cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Prepare Caramel Syrup.
Allow the syrup to cool completely before adding to your apple infusion.

Apple Infused Vodka and Jar of Caramel Syrup

Add caramel syrup One Tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired taste. I thought that both the apple flavor and caramel flavors were enhanced after chilling the liqueur in the freezer, so err on the side of adding less caramel than you may initially think.

We served these chilled in shot glasses with a slice of a caramel apple, and they were delicious! If you like caramel apples, you will not be disappointed.

Other seasonal drinks included cider with peanut bourbon, Payday Candy Bar shots, Chocolate-Orange martinis, and Ginger-lemon-pear vodka.

Our mini-party also included some fun Halloween snacks thanks to Krista. Find her directions for Frankenweenie pizzas here.

I can’t wait to hear about your Halloween cocktail plans…

Cheers!

Frankenweenie Mummy Pizzas

Monster Cheese Heads

Caramel Apple Shots

Related Posts:

Halloween Infusion Part 2: Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

Apple Liqueur

Apple Pie Bourbon

Caramel Apple Liqueur on Punk Domestics


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Mixology Monday: Bein’ Green

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This is my first time participating in Mixology Monday! I started seeing all the green cocktails popping up today and realized that the theme is “(it’s not easy) Bein’ Green”. I decided it’s about time I got up off the couch and did something with that Peapod Vodka.

Thanks to everyone who sent ideas and suggestions for Peapod Vodka cocktails, we were already off to a good start. Many of you suggested citrus flavors, and I thought that sounded perfect. Now that the rains of fall have settled into the Pacific Northwest, our greenery is flourishing. So with the “green” theme, we went all out!

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Friends of Pea (makes one petite drink)
1.5 oz. Peapod Vodka
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. simple syrup (or more to taste)
5-6 large lemon balm leaves, plus more to garnish

Muddle the lemon balm in a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into a small cocktail glass, and enjoy!

I really wanted to be able to taste the pea flavor in the cocktail. (I never thought I would say those words!) This cocktail is actually quite nice. I think the lime and lemon balm go well. I toyed with the idea of using Thai basil, and I think that would be delicious also. In fact, I may try that later…

Here was the theme for today’s MxMo, from October’s host Wordsmithing Pantagruel:
With the warm days of summer now fading off into the distance in our rear view mirrors, let’s pay one last tribute to the greens of summer before the frosts come and our outdoor herb gardens give up the ghost for the winter. For our theme for this month, I have chosen: (it’s not easy) “Bein’ Green.” (Perchance due in no small part to my predilection for Green Chartreuse.) I’m giving you a wide berth on this one, anything using a green ingredient is fair play. There’s not only the aforementioned Chartreuse; how about Absinthe Verte, aka the green fairy. Or Midori, that stuff is pretty damn green. Crème de menthe? Why not? Douglas Fir eau de vie? Bring it! Apple schnapps? Uh…well…it is green. I suppose if you want to try to convince me it makes something good you can have at it. But it doesn’t have to be the liquor. Limes are green. So is green tea. Don’t forget the herb garden: mint, basil, cilantro, you name it – all fair game. There’s also the veritable cornucopia from the farmers market: green apples, grapes, peppers, olives, celery, cucumbers…you get the idea. Like I said, wide berth. Base, mixer, and or garnish; if it’s green it’s good. Surprise me. Use at least one, but the more the merrier.

Cheers!


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Fresh Cherry Bourbon

I love cherries! Last winter, since cherries were not in season, we made a Cherry Bourbon with dried cherries. The dried cherries we used were tart cherries that had been sweetened with sugar.

Typically, every summer I preserve cherries for cocktails; brandied cherries, amaretto cherries, spiced brandied cherries, creme de cacao cherries, and much more. In truth, many of these end up on ice-cream, but making a good brandied cherry was the inspiration behind my canning addiction.

Last year, we went a bit overboard, picking 24 pounds of cherries. In addition to our usual boozy cherries, we made a steeped cherry bounce, cherry brandy, cherry jam, and chutney. This year we needed a little break from canning cherries. We still have a few jars from last year to keep our cocktails garnished for a while.

This year, I took the easy route. I picked up a bag of mixed sweet cherries at the farmers market and made only a simple, fresh cherry bourbon.

Fresh Cherry Bourbon

2 heaping cups of fresh cherries
2 c. Bourbon

Score each cherry with a knife, piercing through the flesh. No need to pit them.

Combine the scored cherries and bourbon in a quart jar, and allow to infuse for 2-4 weeks, or until it reaches your desired taste. We infused ours for 2 months and it tastes great. At this point you could strain the infusion, or simply use the cherries in cocktails as you use up the bourbon. (These cherries will be much boozier than our typical brandied cherries which use a simple syrup with liquor added, but will be much better than a lot of the cherries you get at the store.)

This fresh cherry bourbon has a much fresher, cleaner, and light taste than the dried cherry bourbon that we made last winter. I think I actually prefer the dried cherries, but both are delicious and will work well for different cocktails.

How do you prefer your cherry bourbon?

Fresh Cherry Bourbon after infusing for two months

Cheers!

Boozy Cherries from 2011